Hospitals today have disaster recovery backups of their IT infrastructure. But in the event of a natural disaster, how does the transfer facility get access to the patient health information located in the backup systems of the evacuated provider? The answer is to have this patient health information shared among neighboring states using the statewide HIE infrastructures. When a hurricane is approaching, the hospitals can proactively share the patient health information with neighboring state HIEs so that when patients are evacuated their information is readily available at the new facility. This could be as simple as uploading a CCD for all patients to the neighboring HIEs.
As HIEs evolve, we will likely continue to see new use-case scenarios emerge for the sharing of patient health information. It is refreshing to hear about HIEs providing solutions for patients.